The Oberlin Review

Afrikan Heritage House faculty and residents hold an Umoja meeting over Zoom, as shown in the documentary

“Boxes Will Be Provided” Challenges Oberlin to Do More For Black Students

July 9, 2020

When the College moved to remote learning this past spring, students enrolled in the Historic and Contemporary Debates in African American Education course knew they had to document the experience. Their documentary Boxes Will Be Provided felt like a necessary step in recording the impact of COVID-19 on Black Obies. Director and editor DaQuan Williams, OC ’20, had very little experience in film-making prior to embarking on this project, which clocks in at roughly two and a half hours and invol...

New Club Creates a Space for Alternative Black and Femme Students

Alice Koeninger, Senior Staff Writer

March 6, 2020

Alt/Black, Oberlin’s new goth, punk, metal, alternative club for Black women and femmes, was founded by College second-year Jordann Sadler and College third-year Mikaela Howard at the beginning of this semester. The club welcomes “all Black, femme, and women-identifying students, as well as their constructive allies” who are interested in alternative subcultures.  “It’s about getting us [Black women and Black femmes] all together and seeing that we’re here and recognizing that we’re here,” Sadler said.  Sadler came up with the idea for the group as a Black woman and metal fan who does not see herself represented in the mainstream metal community.  “We saw all the gatekeeping — even within...

Fashion Show “Look Black At It” Celebrates 50 Years of Africana Studies

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

February 28, 2020

The 50-year anniversary of Oberlin’s Africana Studies department was celebrated in style at the Black History Month Fashion Show last Saturday. This year’s event was themed “Look Black At It: 50 Years of Fashion.” College third-year Jasmine Mitchell was one of the event’s key organizers. She said that the planning committee started putting the show together about six months ago. “[We began] with ideas for the theme, creating a budget to support the ideas we had, then reaching out to models and makeup artists, contacting photographers, getting a DJ, and, finally, numerous rehearsals,” Mitchell wrote in an email to the Review. “This year … really focused on the importance of knowing Black histo...

From left to right, College fourth-years Jaris Owens, Griffin Woodard, and Miyah Byers. All three students are congregants of the House of Lord Fellowship.

In Bittersweet Move, House of the Lord Fellowship Finds New Space

December 13, 2019

When College fourth-years Miyah Byers, Jaris Owens, and Griffin Woodard were asked why they attend weekly services at the House of the Lord Fellowship despite not being regular churchgoers before starting at Oberlin, they just turned to each other and laughed. There was too much to say. “We could talk about this for days,” Byers said. For Byers, the House of the Lord is a space in which she can make meaningful connections with the congregation. “I get to see my elders being vulnerable...

Nathan A. Greenberg Professor of Classics and Acting Chair of Comparative Literature Kirk Ormand and former students in his “Odysseys and Identities” first-year seminar class on an apple-picking trip.

“Odysseans” Bond Over Unique First-Year Seminar Experience

December 13, 2019

While the First-Year Seminar Program, a primer for liberal arts writing composed of small classes, is described as “a singular opportunity for learning,” few students are still sincerely attached to their first-year seminar experience by the end of their college career. Not so for alumni of Nathan A. Greenberg Professor of Classics and Acting Chair of Comparative Literature Kirk Ormand’s first year seminar, “Odysseys and Identities.” The ‘Odysseans,’ as they’re dubbed, have had semesterly...

Slow Train Storytellers: Bringing Oral Storytelling to Oberlin

Slow Train Storytellers: Bringing Oral Storytelling to Oberlin

December 6, 2019

Slow Train Storytellers will bring members of the Oberlin community together to share their stories over coffee this Friday from 7–9 p.m. Limited to five unscripted minutes, community members are encouraged to share their personal stories in a safe and supportive environment. As a new feature of our artistic community, Storytellers has been meeting on the first and third Friday of each month since October. The Storytellers night was inspired by The Moth, a global spoken-word community in whi...

A mother cat and her kittens. CATSS provides care for younger animals at Ginko Gallery & Studio, and for mature cats at their Lincoln Street location.

CATSS Cares for Local Felines, Supports Health, Awareness

December 6, 2019

College towns seem to be dumping grounds for folks looking to get rid of their pets — whether because of turnover in students and staff, or because such communities often come together to care for animals. Oberlin has its own share of feline friends, sometimes seen on campus in colonies or dashing down the street. As the weather grows colder, seeing these cats outside can seem grim. Concerned citizens can be comforted, though, by the knowledge that Oberlin’s feline inhabitants have an extensive...

Eli Valley discussing his comics in Dye Lecture Hall.

Cartoonist Eli Valley Discusses Jewish-American Identity

November 22, 2019

When cartoonist and activist Eli Valley was young, he used to imagine superheroes and supervillains battling on the pages of the Hebrew Bible, the physical seam of the book serving as the divisive line between good and evil. Valley’s father was a Rabbi, and he says that comics initially provided him with a sense of escape from his Orthodox Jewish upbringing and countless hours spent in the synagogue.  Today, Valley is a well-respected cartoonist whose work has been featured in The Nation, The ...

OSLAM team members bowing at the end of last year’s Grand Slam.

OHOP, OSLAM Center Black, POC Voices on Campus

November 22, 2019

While all students are invited to attend campus concerts and events, it is important to be mindful about taking up space at shows centering Black and Brown artists. Two groups on campus – The Oberlin Hip Hop Collective and Oberlin’s slam poetry team, OSLAM, not only center performers of color but seek to create a safe space for students of color in the audience. When attending these events, mindfulness of one’s positionality is crucial.  “OHOP serves to provide safe spaces and communit...

Diwali: A Photo Essay

Kushagra Kar, Production Editor

November 15, 2019

Living thousands of kilometers away from family, the food you’re familiar with, and the language you’re used to– everything can be just slightly overwhelming. The part that is most difficult though, is missing all the traditional holidays that you’ve experienced for years and have always taken for granted. So when Diwali came to Oberlin last Friday, South Asians dressed in their salwars and kurtas and gathered in Shansi House. In Hindu mythology, Diwali marks the day that Lord Rama returned to his kingdom of Ayodhya after 14 years in exile, culminating in a war against the 10-headed Ravana. Today, we celebrate the occasion with fireworks, food, and family festivities, sparing no expense in mak...

Personal Newsletters Prove a Revitalized Way to Connect

Kate Fishman, Arts & Culture Editor

November 1, 2019

College third-year Lucy Kaminsky has an entry in her Notes app that looks like it is miles long, each new section marked with a simple N* and then a number. N*17 marks her current project, yet to hit the inboxes of her over 100 subscribers.  Kaminsky’s kept up an email newsletter since starting college. It was her response to the social and locational upheaval of that moment, and she has used this newsletter since to keep in touch with family and friends, sharing her life across distances great and small. Her high school guidance counselor, a mother she babysits for, and her orthodontist are just a few of the more unexpected contacts on her Listserv.  This note marks not only the evolution of the content shared — bundles of articles and i...

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